Irish Hotel Management Software Company iHotelligence acquired by RoomRaccoon

The global hotel tech company RoomRaccoon is reinforcing its presence in Ireland with the completion of its first acquisition, iHotelligence.

RoomRaccoon, the leading cloud-based hotel management system for independent hotels, today announced its acquisition of iHotelligence, a Dublin-based property management software, as it continues its expansion in the Irish market. The terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

Tymen van Dyl, the Founder and CEO of RoomRaccoon, views the partnership with iHotelligence as the natural next step in the company's journey to becoming the world’s #1 Hotel Management Software. Following years of robust organic growth, RoomRaccoon has established itself as a trusted partner for over 2000 hoteliers, serving more than 25,000 rooms across the globe. This is set to grow with the addition of iHotelligence. 

He elaborated on the strategic significance of this development, stating, "Acquiring iHotelligence represents a major milestone for us. It underscores our commitment to expanding our presence in the Irish market, and providing cutting-edge technology to hoteliers that maximises revenue, streamlines operations, and delights guests. By welcoming iHotelligence into the RoomRaccoon family, we will significantly increase our customer base in Ireland, positioning ourselves as market leaders in Hotel Management Software in the region.”

Founded in 2012, iHotelligence has built a comprehensive suite of software products that consists of an on-site property management system, booking engine and channel manager. Their Irish customer base includes boutique hotels and independent hotels.

Keith Slowey, founder of iHotelligence, shared, “RoomRaccoon's acquisition of iHotelligence demonstrates their commitment to expanding their presence in Ireland and delivering superior technology solutions to Irish hoteliers. This partnership will have major benefits for all hotels currently using iHotelligence by providing them with a singular cloud-based platform with advanced features to improve operational efficiencies and increase revenue.”

In addition to RoomRaccoon’s HMS, Irish hoteliers stand to gain a competitive edge with the system’s unique upgrades. From dynamic pricing tools that adjust pricing strategies based on real-time market data, occupancy rates, and demand fluctuations, to automated upsell functionality, housekeeping management, and more. 

The iHotelligence acquisition is the first acquisition completed by the bootstrapped start-up’s internal Mergers and Acquisitions department. The company remains financially independent since its founding in 2017. 

Aside from bolstering its presence in Ireland, RoomRaccoon has ambitious plans for further expansion in both Europe and North America.

RoomRaccoon is headquartered in the Netherlands and has offices in Cape Town, Lisbon and Valencia. 


About RoomRaccoon

RoomRaccoon is an award-winning Hotel Management System trusted by thousands of independent properties across the globe. RoomRaccoon’s cloud-based platform empowers hoteliers with a category-redefining, comprehensive range of products and solutions to increase revenue, streamline operations, and enhance the guest experience. And with over 400 integrations, RoomRaccoon is one of the most connected solutions on the market. Founded in 2017 by a hotel owner and tech entrepreneur, RoomRaccoon was awarded the Best Hotel Management System in the World by Hotel Tech Report in 2020 and 2021. 


For more information, visit


Press release issued by:

Lindsay Krause, Senior Brand Manager, RoomRaccoon


Z Hotels will open its 15th hotel within the portfolio increasing its hotel footprint in London with the announcement of Z Leicester Square.

Z Hotels is increasing its portfolio with the addition of Z Leicester Square bringing the total number of properties to 15. Centrally located in Charing Cross Road the property will be open to guests in late 2024 and will have 81 rooms. This brings the total number of Z Hotels rooms across the country to more than 1,800.

The property will follow the same Z Hotels concept which guests and repeat visitors know and love but, it will also feature some quirky new additions.

This is the first new property development for Z Hotels since the pandemic and indicates a bounce back in demand for London hotels.

The enviable location will allow guests to be right in the heart of theatreland and within walking distance of some of the main London tourist attractions including The National Gallery, China Town, Soho, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, and the Royal Opera House. Z Hotels is known for its unique locations at the heart of the city which suits both leisure and business guests.

Bev King, founder of Z Hotels said “This new development is a significant moment within the Z Hotels journey, in 13 years we have grown from the opening of Z Soho in 2011 to 15 properties. On completion of Z Leicester Square 12 of our hotels are in London and then we have one each in Glasgow, Bath and Liverpool. Consumer demand for our compact luxury model and uniquely central locations at affordable rates has been a driver for us to increase our footprint within the Capital and we are looking forward to welcoming guests to Z Leicester Square in the near future.”

For more information and bookings visit


Luxury Down Hall Hotel, Spa & Estate reports strong growth with the hotel’s gross profit up 50%, fuelled by increased occupancy and the introduction of engaging initiatives and events, attracting new and returning guests to the hotel.

Situated in the Essex countryside, set across 110-acres of woodlands and greenery, Down Hall has undergone an extensive refurbishment, elevating its Bedrooms, and Terrace, introducing the elegant Fox Bar and launching The Potting Shed, a new breakfast room and private meeting space.

Over the last 12 months, the country house hotel and spa has grown the team from 80 to 180 employees, welcoming over 3000 new guests. The property has hosted a full calendar of external events and initiatives, from its successful 'live from the lawn’ weekend music sessions to outdoor cinema screenings with Enchanted Cinema, dog-friendly Pop + Bark festivals and even a horse hacking event. It has also developed its own gin – Down Hall Garden Gin - with ingredients foraged directly from the hotel’s Kitchen Garden.

As planning takes place for 2024, a new programme of events has been confirmed by the hotel, including the arrival of a Sunday feasting menu in the new casual Potting Shed restaurant; jazz afternoon tea; family-friendly ‘princess banquets’; and a dedicated wellness programme featuring quarterly yoga retreats and outdoor gong bathing to continue broadening its target market.

The success of Down Hall has been acknowledged with the hotel receiving several prestigious accolades this year. This includes winning Large Hotel of the Year at the East of England Tourism Awards; LUXlifestyle Luxury Hotel of the Year; Historic Wedding Venue of the Year at the Essex Wedding Awards, receiving 2 AA Rosettes for The Garden Room; runner-up at the Meetings Industry Association for Best Sales and Marketing Team; and Executive Head Chef Robert Pearce being shortlisted for the Hotel Cateys Chef of the Year. This is a testament to the ongoing dedication and hard work of the 100 plus team members employed at the hotel, committed to providing best-in-practice service to guests.

Hotel General Manager Linden Beattie comments: “This has been a transformational year for the hotel with our gross profit up 50%. It is a privilege to lead the team and our success is down to their commitment - they constantly go above and beyond to create lasting memories for our guests. I am thrilled with all that has been achieved over the last 12 months and I look forward to continuing our success in 2024”.

Down Hall Hotel & Spa,
Matching Road, Hatfield Heath
Essex CM22 7AS

T: 01279 731441
Instagram: @DownHall | Facebook: DownHallHotel

Issued by Roche Communications on behalf of Down Hall, November 2023. For more information, please contact Bea or Hannah on


About Down Hall Hotel:

Down Hall is one of England’s most established country house hotels, located near Bishop’s Stortford on the Hertfordshire and Essex border. Set within 110 acres of woodland, parkland and landscaped gardens, Down Hall is conveniently located just 15 minutes from Stansted Airport and less than an hour from central London, offering the ideal environment for guests to unwind, relax and escape the city. The hotel boasts a luxury spa, 2 AA Rosette-awarded restaurant and, in May 2019, reopened its standalone West Wing following an extensive £1.2 million refurbishment, offering a dedicated space for weddings, conferences, meetings and events.

Recently Down Hall has won a number of prestigious awards and accolades, including Large Hotel of the Year at this year’s East of England Tourism Awards, LUXlifestyle Luxury Hotel of the Year in Essex, and 2 AA Rosettes for The Garden Room restaurant.

Dyson 2024 Trends & Predictions

Dyson spokespeople:
Giles Morgan, Senior Category Engineer, RDD Design Engineering, Dyson


As the year draws to a close, the promise of 2024 brings with it new trends and factors that might impact businesses and their decision making as well as end-user demand. Dyson Professional is looking to the year ahead and predicts what trends will be prevalent in the year to come.

As the technology engineered touches various business needs in a range of sectors, we are seeing overall trends that impact all businesses, regardless of industry alongside those specific to each product area, from the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis to consumer preferences.


Energy Efficiency

Energy costs have been a hot topic of conversation recently, and it is due to remain on the agenda for 2024. Costs are projected to continue being high and as a result, businesses will continue to look for ways to make these overheads more affordable and cut costs where they can.

Despite high energy costs, businesses are often left without a choice, with many appliances integral to operations and customer experience. This is why businesses must look at reducing energy consumption across the whole building to be as cost effective as possible. Businesses will continue to invest in areas such as appropriate lighting solutions to meet their needs. Embracing technology can control costs and energy usage in this category – from smart app control to LEDs that have better energy efficiency.

Increasing energy efficiency in appliances can be a simple solution to solve this issue. Replacing older technologies that may be energy intensive, outdated, and inefficient can be a first step. For example, a superior quality hand dryer, like the Dyson Airblade hand dryer, that reduces the time it takes to dry hands – longer dry times means more energy is consumed. Hot air hand dryers can take around 40 seconds to achieve a hygienic level of dryness, whilst a jet air dryer can only take around 10 seconds to achieve the same level.


Cutting Costs

Many businesses’ budgets are getting tighter. Finding ways to cut other operating costs goes hand in hand with being conscious of energy usage. Businesses are often confronted with a cost analysis, choosing between a solution that has a lower initial cost but one that is higher in the long-term, versus a solution that is more expensive upfront but will pay dividends. For many products currently on the market, there are opportunities to lease a machine, offering a flexible way to upgrade the technology with affordable payments and no upfront investment – spreading the cost over a period of time. Of course, this is not always a possibility and is dependent on current business expenses and capital available, however they should consider this balance.

A good example of this is the comparison between paper towels and hand dryers. Paper towels of course have a low initial cost; however, they require consistent replenishing, storage, and disposal, not to mention the unforeseen costs such as blockage removal. Meanwhile, a superior hand dryer is an investment but does not need constant replacing. In fact, some modern models are so energy efficient that the upfront cost can be recouped in energy savings compared to that of replacing paper towels. Dyson’s savings calculator can help businesses of all sizes see how much they could save by switching from paper towels to Dyson Airblade™ technology. As a bonus, switching can also be a more sustainable alternative to keep washrooms hygienic at a time when 75% of people are concerned about the use of single-use consumables.


Finding efficiency in technology

Another cost-cutting solution for businesses that we predict will continue to rise in 2024, is seeing suppliers provide multifunctional machines, such as heating/cooling systems fitted with an air purifier, or hand dryers with handwashing capabilities. Not only does this minimise the number of appliances or machines requiring investment, but it can also reduce energy usage, space used and carbon footprint as well as space. There has been a decline in preference of products just offering one answer to a problem and this is particularly true with air purifiers, with some on the market having the capability to not only purify, but to heat or cool a room at the same time, providing the opportunity for more innovative design and technological advancements. In 2024, we predict purifiers with heating/cooling technology will continue to grow in popularity alongside those with the capability for indoor air quality measurement.

Combining cutting costs and energy management will continue to be high on the business agenda into 2024, with these considerations being key in purchasing and usage decisions as they look for ways to do more with less.


Washroom Experience

With consumer demands on premium experiences set to continue in the new year, businesses should look into putting user experience first.

Consumers are increasingly more discerning and informed, with a wealth of information on a business or product in the palm of their hands. This, paired with the continued cost of living crisis, means that the average consumer carefully chooses at what establishments they spend their money. Factors such as sustainability, experience and atmosphere can all be deciding factors for consumers.

Expectations of public washrooms are ever higher, and a poor washroom experience can directly impact the likelihood of a customer returning to a venue and can even impact their overall view of a business. A study found a close correlation between poor washroom reviews and overall star ratings at hospitality venues, with bad odour as one of the top reasons for a negative experience.

Meanwhile, a positive washroom experience would make over three quarters of Brits more likely to spend with a business. In addition, having a good air filtration system and HEPA-graded machines, such as hand dryers, can signpost to consumers that they will be receiving a positive and hygienic washroom experience – and increasing the chances of them returning to the venue.


Indoor Air Quality

Previously a lesser-known part of the conversation surrounding air pollution, general awareness of indoor air quality has been increasing and is set to continue this upward trend in 2024.

Dyson’s Air Purity Pulse Check survey shows that nearly half of people polled think that indoor air quality is more important than that outdoors. In addition, over half of those surveyed say that they are concerned about poor air quality impacting their health with the majority having become more concerned about this in the past three years. This topic is increasingly at the forefront of people’s minds, paired with increased reporting of it in the current news cycle.

As consumers become more concerned about the air they breathe, businesses need to ensure that they are making a concerted effort to improve it in the shared spaces they are providing and are creating not only a better working environment for all, but also improving productivity of those in the space.


Signposting and Educating

Businesses can signpost to users that they are prioritising indoor air quality in many ways, such as by using an air purifier and sharing air quality data of the premises. Free air quality data is becoming more readily available, which businesses can tap into to educate themselves on the pollution levels in their surrounding area.  Imperial College London has created a free to use website, London Air, which shows a map forecasting the different outdoor pollution levels across London.

In addition, businesses can utilise digital air monitors to further explore the key triggers for poor indoor air quality such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or pollution events. Understanding these sources is a crucial first step in improving indoor air quality and potentially finding a solution to them.


Volatile Organic Compounds

Businesses are sure to have at least one source of VOCs in their establishment, therefore it is vital in 2024 that they are made aware of the top sources and find a way to mitigate its effects for the health of those within it.

Awareness around the origins of VOCs and sources will become more important in 2024 due to increased consumer understanding. This is the general term for gases that are emitted into the air from products or processes and are therefore invisible. Some are harmful to our health by themselves, whilst others can react with other gases and form other pollutants in the air, creating a cocktail of harmful particles potentially trapped in an indoor space. While not all VOCs are necessarily harmful, it is important that businesses are aware of the ones that are detrimental to health and their sources.

Potential sources can include construction materials such as paints, adhesives, and varnishes; common household items such as cleaning agents, air fresheners and perfumes; and office equipment, such as printers, photocopiers, and computers – it is clearly a wide-reaching issue.

This year, we have seen an increased awareness of these sources in the home with Dyson’s recent Air Purity Pulse Check report revealing 70% of people polled said they have taken steps such as investing in air purifiers to improve home air quality. This is an encouraging first step which many are sure to follow over the next year as the momentum around recognising sources of harmful indoor pollutants improves.


Major Pollution Events

Over the last year, we have seen major air pollution events such as the wildfires in North America. These made what is usually an invisible threat, visible and demonstrated the dangers of air pollution. This has contributed to an increased awareness on the topic, as guidance included installing air purifiers and avoiding going outside. There is a continued risk of pollution events, and businesses need to increase their understanding and awareness of this problem and have response plans in place to safeguard their indoor air quality.

By investing in better indoor air quality all-year round, despite major pollution events, businesses take an ‘always on’ approach to protecting staff wellbeing and productivity.


Applications open for Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma 2024/25

The Master Innholders have opened applications for the Master Innholders Aspiring Leaders Diploma (MIALD) for hoteliers looking to make that next step in their career development.

MIALD, now in its 12th year, is a prestigious training programme that goes beyond the core leadership modules as each session takes place at hotels across the UK on two-day residentials. The programme covers essential aspects such as management principles, financial acumen, operational excellence, marketing and customer service. Successful applicants are awarded the internationally and industry recognised Level 5 Award from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and will not only gain practical insights but also benefit from industry networking and mentorship, equipping them with the skills needed to excel in hospitality leadership.

Graduates of the program enjoy enhanced career prospects and industry recognition, showcasing their commitment to excellence in hospitality leadership, along with the chance to gain a deep understanding of successfully managing hospitality operations.

Delivery of these sessions is undertaken in a residential setting at a range of iconic venues, with such iconic hotels as Wivenhoe House Hotel, The Mayfair Townhouse, and Fairlawns Hotel and Spa amongst those hosting sessions in the past year.

Chris Bancroft, Operations Manager, The Newt, MIALD graduate and recent award winner for The Master Innholder’s GM of the Future said:

“The Aspiring Leaders programme was one of the most valuable things I have had the opportunity to do in my career so far. Through my management training course, I learnt about operating, but it was through Aspiring Leaders that I really engaged with and started to understand Leadership and Management. I cannot recommend it enough as a hugely valuable and enjoyable course.”

Dan Rose-Bristow MI, Chairman of The Master Innholders, said: “The opening of applications for our Aspiring Leaders Diploma is always an exciting time of the year, as we look to support the industry by developing the next generation of hospitality leaders. With over 160 people from within the industry going through the MIALD programme since its inception, the course allows students the opportunity to add to their management skillset each six to eight weeks, within a range of different hotel environments.

“Every year we receive strong applications from a range of talent from every size of business and from every corner of the UK, and I’m sure that this year will be no different. I urge all of those looking to enhance and accelerate their careers within hospitality to seriously consider applying.”

Prospective applicants are invited to complete an application form with a supporting statement from their general manager or sponsor. These should be sent, along with a CV and recent photograph, via email to

Deadline for applications is 9th February 2024.  If selected for an interview, these will take place on 26th March 2024.Download the 2024/25 Aspiring Leaders Diploma application form and for more information about the diploma, download this year’s official programme.

For more information on the Master Innholders and its educational programmes, please visit

The Burnt Chef Project and Brigad join forces to host London hospitality mental health and well-being workshop

Hospitality workers can learn how to handle the workload stresses of the festive season in a special one-off workshop hosted by The Burnt Chef Project CEO and Founder, Kris Hall.

The workshop, which will be held at The Corner London City, Adler Street, on Monday 4th December from 9.30am - 12pm, has been jointly organised by The Burnt Chef Project and hospitality freelancing platform Brigad to raise awareness of the need for hospitality staff to manage their mental health and well-being.

The event will start with a networking breakfast, followed by a stress workshop presented by Hall, which will enable attendees to understand how to identify, tackle, and manage workplace stress.

Mental health awareness is a continual issue for the industry, which will be compounded by the additional demands on workers to cope with the demands of the festive period.

The Burnt Chef Project identified that 80 percent hospitality workers had experienced mental health issues within their career, while almost half would not feel comfortable talking about their health concerns with their colleagues.

Hall said: “It's no secret the hospitality industry faces increased pressures throughout the festive season, with increased footfall, new menus, personal pressures of family, expense and missed time with loved ones can all add up. 

“Hospitality staff will work an average of 28 hours overtime at Christmas, which can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and ultimately mental health issues if not properly managed. It's vital we put structures in place to support our teams during this busy period.

“This workshop gives the skills to cover how to spot stress, how to speak to your teams about mental health and ultimately support them, leading to better productivity and increased retention throughout the festive period and beyond.”

Brigad, which will supply hundreds of freelance hospitality workers to meet demand during the traditional ‘party season’, is supporting the venture as part of its own campaign to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues in the hospitality industry.

Nicolas Ferrary, Brigad’s UK Managing Director, said: “Brigad’s mission is to make work attractive and accessible to all. This includes empowering those in the industry to be able to care for their wellbeing and mental health, in order to have sustainable and successful careers. The holiday season is always a tough period for those in hospitality, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with The Burnt Chef Project to provide more support.”

Tickets for the workshop are priced at £10 with all proceeds going to The Burnt Chef Project. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite via this link.

The workshop will cover subjects such as:

  • financial and legal implications
  • identifying some of the signs of workplace stress
  • methodology for tackling work-related stress
  • designing and implementing workplace risk assessments 

These will form the foundation for bases to reduce burnout risk and work towards psychological safe accreditations, such as globally recognised ISO 45003 standard.


Renowned for industry-firsts, VANITY GROUP is proud to announce VANITY GROUP HQ, based in Sydney, Australia is now B Corp certified. This solidifies VANITY GROUP as being counted among businesses being recognised by the world’s leading authority in social and environmental impact.

Since its inception 13 years ago, VANITY GROUP has been passionate about the planet, its people and its inhabitants. After an extensive assessment covering social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency, VANITY GROUP has cemented itself as a pioneer in operating a business that takes deep care of hotel guests, the planet, and people. This spans product ideation through to execution, with social and environment impact at the forefront.

Founder and CEO of VANITY GROUP, Paul Tsalikis said of the B Corp Certification: “Achieving a B Corp certification demonstrates VANITY GROUP’s commitment to being a force for good. We believe in doing the right thing for the planet, its people and communities. We’re honoured to now be a part of a global community of businesses that value the same social and environmental standards that B Corp champions.”

VANITY GROUP HQ is one of over 6000 businesses globally that uphold B Lab’s vision of an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy. An assessment will be conducted by B Lab every three years to ensure VANITY GROUP HQ continues to uphold the B Corp standards, balancing profit and purpose for a better world.

The B Corp certification is just another step in VANITY GROUP’s ethical, environmental and social initiatives which include:

  • Guest cosmetics are trademarked by The Vegan Society certified and are PETA approved and never tested on animals.
  • VANITY GROUP have been awarded an EcoVadis Bronze Medal. EcoVadis provides sustainability ratings and assessments for companies globally covering environment, labour and human rights, ethics, and sustainable procurement.
  • In an effort to make packaging more sustainable, VANITY GROUP uses OceanBound Material which is gathered from at risk waterways and reused in packaging. Post Recycled Consumer material is also utilised which requires less water, fossil fuels and energy than standard plastic.
  • VANITY GROUP offers a 100% sustainable amenity program incorporating aluminium tubes and woodchip bottle caps.
  • Accessories made from from kraft paper and with FSC®.

VANITY GROUP HQ’s B Corp certification is another milestone in the brand’s mission of creating a more positive, inclusive and credible future, alongside the B Corp global collective.


About B Lab and B Corp

B Corporations are businesses that have been certified by B Lab, a non-profit organization, that measures the business’s impact across social and environmental factors, creating a legal framework in which the business is accountable for a rigorous set of standards that ensure they have a positive impact on the planet and lead the way to a new stakeholder-driven model. B Corp’s global collective have made a commitment to a new way to do business that benefits all.



VANITY GROUP is a global cosmetics market leader, established in 2011 with an Australian entrepreneurial spirit. VANITY GROUP provides an ensemble of licensed cosmetic brands whilst focusing on the design, development, manufacture, and marketing of luxury guest cosmetics products.

With our HQ based in Sydney, Australia, VANITY GROUP provide services of advanced research and creative laboratories, ultra-modern manufacturing facilities, an in-house master design studio and an extensive warehousing and distribution network in over 75 countries. VANITY GROUP are creators of everything beautiful and masters of storytelling through visual design, fragrances and scents that create emotional connections around the world. VANITY GROUP is a company of choice to hotel groups around the globe.


JP’s Originals, producers of exceptional, artisanal tea has partnered with the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, becoming their exclusive tea supplier throughout the hotel.

Renowned for unparalleled luxury and providing genuine care for guests, luxury hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire offers JP’s Originals speciality teas as loose leaf, pyramids, and envelope teas in a wide range of flavours throughout the hotel. Featuring JP’s Originals infusions and signature blends including Nana’s Chai, Rose Chai, Earl Grey, English Breakfast and JP’s Originals CBD Trinity, which includes Power Up, Soul Soother, and Sleep Deep, this partnership centres around the commitment of both brands to offer their discerning customers the very best experience, every time.

Reinforcing their commitment to sleep and relaxation, each Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire guest room offers the JP’s Originals Sleep Deep infusion, which combines water-soluble CBD with calming chamomile, gentle floral notes of rose, lavender and rosehip to promote restorative sleep.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire” says Urvashi Agarwal, founder of JP’s Originals. “I believe there is great synergy between both brands, centred around our commitment to offering customers supreme luxury and the very best experience from start to finish. Guests staying overnight also have the chance to taste our award-winning Sleep Deep infusion, undoubtedly elevating their overnight experience and ensuring they have a restful night in sumptuous surroundings.”

‘Offering JP’s Originals infusions and signature blends to our customers seemed like an obvious choice’ says Yogesh Juneja, General Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire. ‘We’re committed to offering our customers the very best when it comes to taste and overall experience, and we love championing British brands with strong eco credentials. Luxury, sustainability, and superior quality is at the heart of our offering, values which JP’s Originals also holds dear.’

Passionate about retailing innovative, exceptional products, perfectly brewed, and hand-picked in the UK, JP’s Originals are committed to producing blends which offer outstanding flavour and sustainability. Proudly achieving a B-Corp certification in March 2002, all JP’s Originals teas come in 100% biodegradable, plastic-free packaging and pyramid bags made from soilon, a plant-based material which is easily compostable, so customers can consume freely with a clear conscience.



Award-winning chef and hotelier, Tom Lewis, has been in the hospitality sector for 40 years. His mother purchased Monachyle Mhor (when it was a humble guesthouse) in 1983, and Tom took over the business in 2005, turning it into the luxury boutique hotel that it is today.

His impressive portfolio now consists of the hotel, a roadside motel (Mhor84) with its own retail concept store, a self-catering cottage, and the popular Mhor Bread bakery in Callander.

Christmas and New Year is a hugely important time of year for the Mhor Estate, which recently benefitted from a £1.7M investment from expert hospitality lenders, The Cumberland Building Society.

Tom said: “From a revenue perspective, of course, the festive period is incredibly important. But, for me personally, it is important as it’s the time of year that we get to really go all out and give our guests a memorable experience.”

For guests opting to spend their Christmas with Tom and his team at Monachyle Mhor, they can expect a Christmas Eve candlelit courtyard carol service, a wine & whisky safari on the magnificent Monachyle Glen, and sumptuous food and drink served up by Tom himself.

“To be able to go away for Christmas and have everything done for you, having the perfect amount of food so that you feel decadent but not too full, being able to go on a Boxing Day walk in the beautiful Scottish countryside… it’s an amazing thing that we are able to offer to our guests here at Mhor.”

It’s no secret that the hospitality industry has faced trying times over the past few years. Concerning the key domestic visitor market, a recent survey from the Scottish Tourism Alliance reported decreased volumes of visitors from Scotland (-16%) and other parts of the UK (-20%).

Speaking on this trend, Tom said: “It’s a tricky one as we all know that the amount of disposable income people have has dramatically decreased over the past few years due to the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. For hospitality businesses, it’s about creating an offer that is so attractive that they choose to spend their money with you.

“Ask yourself, “What can guests get here that they can’t get anywhere else?” and focus on that. For us, it is all about experiences. We allocate budget to festive decorations, but we don’t go overboard making the hotel super Christmas-y. We’d rather spend in areas which give our guests the most memorable experience, like investing in our staff to ensure they’re providing the best possible service, and in our food and drink offerings.”

Discussing extra measures undertaken prior to the festive season, Tom placed an emphasis on keeping in touch with your bank or building society from the get-go. He said: “You should discuss any plans for the festive period with financial partners to ensure that proper support is in place, and they can also help guide and offer counsel on what measures to take to prepare.

“Being able to pick up the phone to my relationship manager at The Cumberland whenever I need advice or to sound something out is invaluable.”

Tom also discussed the importance of perfecting your social media advertising strategy.

He explained: “We’ve amped up our social media advertising spend this year to try to generate bookings for Christmas. We’ve seen in previous years that we never fill up until the last minute, or that people book super early and then cancel, so we wanted to get our social media adverts working as hard as they could to keep a steady flow of bookings.

“The key to it is making sure that they are set up right so that they are tracking click-throughs, so that you can monitor return.”

Tom’s observations on last-minute bookings were also echoed in the STA Autumn Industry Survey, with many respondents reporting that consumers are postponing trip booking decisions, meaning these shortened lead times are adding to uncertainty for business owners.

For businesses like Monachyle Mhor which is in a remote and rural location, passing footfall is few and far between. That’s why upselling to existing guests is incredibly important when it comes to Christmas, says Tom.

“Put a lot of time and effort into training your front-of-house team to be expert salespeople. Make sure that they are fully versed in what you’ve got planned for the Christmas period so that they can upsell it to guests face-to-face or over the phone.

Speaking on repeat custom, Tom says: “Offer anyone who spent Christmas or Hogmanay with you in previous years first dibs on booking to come back this year. The personal invitation will always be appreciated and, even if they don’t take you up on it this year, they very well may do next year!”

For more information on Monachyle Mhor’s Christmas & New Year offerings, please visit:

For more information about the Cumberland Building Society and its specialised lending services, please visit

Project: HX Trade Exhibition

EcoScent was a proud participant of the HIX show last week.  After the success of attending in 2023 EcoScent took the decision to invest in a bigger stand on the main floor.

Having undergone a brand refresh including a new website, this prestigious trade event was the perfect place to showcase new scent offerings.  With the hotel and spa market being an area of significant growth for the company as we elegantly displayed our three signature hotel scents.

Adding to the experience the full range of scent delivery machines were on display, from products that can integrate with air conditioning and building services to the stand-alone mains or battery operated  units; the Titania in midnight black was positioned on the stand to intrigue and engage with specifiers as they walked by.

For fun a spin the wheel game gave the opportunity for winners to scoop up delightfully scented candles, room sprays and the portable scent machine Puck, recommended for cars and small spaces.

Marketing Manager John Mendes remarked ‘The HIX show was a massive success allowing us to interact with customers, network and demonstrate our wide portfolio scent marketing options from off the peg solutions to tailor made bespoke own label products.  We are so impressed by the number of prospects that we have signed up space for next year’s show already.’

You can find out more about EcoScent at